Conway’s Velda Lueders new president of ARA

October 2-8, 2017

By Jay Edwards


The grand finale of this year’s Arkansas Realtors Association Convention was a reception honoring the 2016 president, Maurice Taylor, followed by the inauguration of his successor, Velda Lueders.


During her acceptance speech, Lueders began by thanking everyone for taking part at such a special occasion in her life.   


“I am honored to serve the membership of the Arkansas Realtors Association,” she said. After recognizing some close friends and family members, including her husband Barry, her daughters Elisabeth and Catherine and her granddaughter Zoe, Lueders said to the ARA members and guests, “We have a great thing going and it’s because of all of you that we continue to be successful.”


As an example, she mentioned that the ARA board just voted to send a large sum of money to Florida and the Virgin Islands for the hurricane relief effort. “We were honored to do this; and able to do it because we have been good stewards with our money,” Lueders said.


She remembered her beginning in real estate back in the mid-nineties.


“Many years ago when I was working for Conway Public Schools, a very dear friend of mine, Pam McDowell, came to my house and said, ‘I want you to come to work for me.’”


“I told her I didn’t know anything about real estate and she said, ‘I’m going to teach you everything you need to know.’”


“She and Hal Crafton took a big chance and hired me to run their office. That opened the door for so many experiences for me and my family that we never expected.”


One of the first people Lueders remembered meeting was Jonna Shaw.


“Jonna had been to one convention and I hadn’t been to one yet.


So we went together that year. The first thing we noticed were that many of the people were wearing lots of different colored ribbons, which we found out had been earned for different designations. They had worked hard to make themselves better agents.”


“Jonna and I looked at each other that night and said that the next convention we came to we would be working towards a ribbon or already have one.”


“Since that time we have spent a lot of classroom time together, both of us earning designations that I know have made us both better agents.”


“I have never missed an Arkansas Realtors Association convention since going to that first one.”


“Then there was a summer session, I think it was at Lake DeGray, when I met Karen Crowson and Debbie Rawls. They were very nice to me and whenever I would see them after that they would always teach me a little more and encourage me a little more.”


In 2006, Crowson was the ARA president when she called on Lueders to be the public relations chair. This was in January and the first meeting was the next month at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson. Having only served on one ARA committee, Lueders had reservations but agreed to do it. There were the normal bumps and bruises along the way that come with trying something new, but she says everything went well and a lot was accomplished. “You don’t have to be an expert. You just have to get in there and get to work and keep trying.”


A few years later she got a call from Andy Shaus, then executive director of the ARA, inviting her to be a zone director for her district.


“I told him I didn’t know how to do that but he said they would teach me and that I could do it,” she remembers.


So she agreed and did that for many years. “I was thinking this week, if Andy had not made that phone call to me I definitely would not be standing here today. I guess I didn’t mess up too bad because they let me keep going.”


The new president closed by thanking the “great and hardworking staff of the ARA” and then offered some words of wisdom for her fellow agents -  


“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a progress. Working together is success.”


“And remember the three C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.”


“Make the change to say yes when asked to get involved with the ARA.” 



The Arkansas Realtors® Association proudly lists below the persons who have been named Arkansas REALTORS® Association State  President since 1926.


2016 - Ronald B. Stinchcomb, Fayetteville

2015 - Jonathan Moore, Rogers

2014 - Bill Ladd*, Russellville

2013 - Bill Olson, Batesville

2012 - Dana Powell, Little Rock

2011 - Andy Meyers, Hot Springs

2010 - Mike Henry, Fayetteville

2009 - Bob Walker, Cabot

2008 - Jim Furr, Jonesboro

2007 - Debbie Rawls, Paragould

2006 - Karen Crowson, Benton

2005 - Sharla Lau, Fort Smith

2004 - Glen Rega, Conway

2003 - Chris Polychron, Hot Springs

2002 - Doyle Yates, Fayetteville

2001 - Doug Smith, Little Rock

2000 - Dorwin Shaddox, Harrison

1999 - Herb Yarbrough*, Little Rock

1998 - Cliff Goodin, Russellville

1997 - Roy D. Rainey, Jr, Little Rock

1996 - Brenda Rochelle, Texarkana

1995 - Michael Ford, West Memphis

1994 - Jim Mcadams, Hot Springs

1993 - Bill Abington, Russellville

1992 - Kay Lawrance, Pine Bluff

1991 - Marj Hohnbaum, Little Rock

1990 - Jim F. Rochelle, Texarkana

1989 - W. Derrell Rogers, Magnolia

1988 - Andrew M. Schaus, Little Rock

1987 - S. David Alphin, El Dorado

1986 - L. Wayne Camp, Mountain Home

1985 - Cheryl K. Reagan, Hot Springs

1984 - William Edwards*, Fort Smith

1983 - J.C. Whisnant*, Little Rock

1982 - Tom Quattlebaum, Maryland

1981 - Larry W. Meyers, Hot Springs

1980 - Nield Sanders*, Bull Shoals

1979 - Donald W. Smith*, Fort Smith

1978 - William A. Payne*, Little Rock

1977 - James R. Sullivan*, Fayetteville

1976 - Bennie C. Beard, Little Rock

1975 - Robert L. Harrison*, Rogers

1974 - Paul Harris*, North Little Rock

1973 - Gerald Price, Fort Smith

1972 - W.L. Burroughs*, Jr., Pine Bluff

1971 - O.J. Snow*, Harrison

1970 - D.L. D’Auteuil*, Searcy

1969 - C.V. Barnes*, Little Rock

1968 - Verdon Bennett*, Fort Smith

1967 - Tom A. Little, Jr*, Blytheville

1966 - Howard Buckner*, Pine Bluff

1965 - Bob Cheatham*, Texarkana

1964 - Delmer Sagely*, Fort Smith

1963 - Clyde Buchanan*, Little Rock

1962 - B.B. McCarley*, West Memphis

1961 - Col. C.C. King*, Eureka Springs

1960 - Frank Triplett*, Pine Bluff

1959 - James F. Taylor, Sr*, Fort Smith

1958 - Vincent W. Foster*, Hope

1957 - James M. East*, Little Rock

1956 - J.J. Pyeatt*, Searcy

1955 - Shaffer Haley*, Pine Bluff

1954 - Wesley Adams*, Little Rock

1953 - Arthur Bradley, El Dorado

1952 - E.L. Fausett*, Little Rock

1951 - R.N. Donoho*, Fort Smith

1950 - R.N. Donoho*, Fort Smith

1949 - H.L. Utley*, Fayetteville

1948 - H.P. Hadfield*, Little Rock

1947 - R.E. Patterson*, Fort Smith

1946 - Jack R. Tucker*, Little Rock

1945 - R.W. McNew*, Pine Bluff

1944 - W.V. Boatright*, Fort Smith

1943 - R.C. Hawley*, Texarkana

1942 - Ray Smith*, Hot Springs

1941 - R.C. Bodenhamer*, El Dorado

1940 - W.A. Reed*, Little Rock

1939 - E.W. Kimber*, Pine Bluff

1938 - Col. John Mayo*, Texarkana

1937 - W.H. Ramseur*, Hot Springs

1936 - R.T. Little*, Fort Smith

1935 - Warren Baldwin*, Little Rock

1934 - Charles M. Taylor*, Little Rock

1933 - Pinchback Taylor*, Pine Bluff

1932 - Sidney Kahn*, Little Rock

1931 - Sam Galloway*, Fort Smith

1930 - Oscar McCaskill*, Little Rock

1929 - Louis Heilbron*, El Dorado

1928 - O. L. Bodenhamer*, El Dorado

1927 - Jim Rutherford*, Little Rock

1926 - L.C. Holman*, Little Rock





Velda Lueders of Conway was inaugurated as the new president of the Arkansas Realtors Association on September 20 in Little Rock.  Last year’s president, Maurice Taylor (right), presented the gavel as Barry Lueders looked on. (Photo by Jay Edwards)